At an event in New Delhi, Micromax and BSNL launched the Bharat 1 4G feature phone. Priced at Rs 2,200, the feature phone comes bundled with a Rs 97 BSNL unlimited plan, along with support for BHIM app, net banking, and access to media like movies, music, live tv, and videos. Like one would instantly guess, the feature phone does compete against the much talked about Reliance JioPhone. Also comparable is the Airtel Karbonn A40 Indian smartphone, which though does not fall in the feature category, offers similar plans in a similar price segment.
The Micromax Bharat 1 has been launched at Rs 2,200, whereas the Reliance JioPhone was launched at an effective price of Re 0, which can basically be purchased against a security money of Rs 1,500 that is meant to be refunded after 36 months. Karbonn A40 Indian, on the other hand, is priced at Rs 2,899, and after a period of 36 months, you can avail refund of Rs 1,500.
However, the “effective price” is what every user wants to know about, and Micromax understands that. At the launch event today, the company drew a comparison in the effective price of the Bharat 1 and the JioPhone. The effective price here is the cost of the phone plus the money spent on the tariff plans.
Micromax CEO and co-founder Rahul Sharma revealed his calculation, wherein after a year, the Bharat 1 would cost Rs 3,364, whereas the JioPhone would cost Rs 3,336 after the same period of time. Post two years, the Bharat 1 would cost Rs 4,528, and the JioPhone’s would cost Rs 5,172. And after 36 months, the effective cost of ownership of the Bharat 1 would be Rs 5,692, whereas JioPhone’s would go up to Rs 5,508. ALSO READ: Reliance JioPhone currently available on OLX, prices start at Rs 1,500
For the ones unaware, if a Reliance JioPhone device is returned within the first 12 months, Jio will not offer any refund. If you surrender the device between 12-24 months, you will be eligible to get a refund of Rs 500, and a return between 24-36 months, you can get a refund of Rs 1,000. Only after completion of 36 months, customers can avail a refund of Rs 1,500. At the time of returning the JioPhone, GST will also be applicable.
With the Karbonn A40 Indian, Airtel will offer the refund in phases. Which means, users will get Rs 500 after completing 18 months, and remaining Rs 1,000 after completing 36 months. However, to be eligible for this, a customer will need to do 36 monthly refills of Rs 169 (each month), which is around Rs 3,000 in the first 18 months, and Rs 3,000 in the remaining 18 months. ALSO READ: Reliance JioPhone vs Airtel Karbonn A40 Indian: Price, specifications and tariff compared
While the Bharat 1 and JioPhone are feature phones with smart features, the Karbonn A40 Indian is an entry-level smartphone. All three devices come with support for 4G VoLTE, and while it is not something new, a feature phone supporting the connectivity option is something to consider. While Bharat 1 and Karbonn A40 support 3G and 4G, JioPhone, only supports VoLTE, and doesn’t fall back to 2G, 3G or 4G.
The Micromax Bharat 1 features a 2.4-inch QVGA display, and a removable battery. Under the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 205 chipset with 512MB of RAM and 4GB of onboard storage. For photography, it has a basic VGA selfie camera, and a 2-megapixel camera at the back. It is fueled by a 2,000mAh battery. ALSO READ: Reliance JioPhone: From 4G VoLTE compatibility to voice control, here are the top features of the feature phone
The A40 Indian features a 4-inch touchscreen display running at a resolution of 800×480 pixels. It is powered by a 1.3GHz quad-core SoC paired with 1GB or RAM and 8GB onboard storage, expandable via microSD card. Just like the JioPhone, the A40 Indian and comes with 2-megapixel rear camera and 0.3-megapixel front snapper. Running on Android 7.0 Nougat, it is armed with a 1,400mAh battery.
The JioPhone, on the other hand, comes with a 2.4-inch display running at a resolution of 320×240 pixels. It is powered by a dual-core SoC running at a clock speed of 1GHz, paired with 512MB of RAM and 4GB internal storage, which is expandable via a microSD card. With a 2-megapixel rear camera and 0.3-megapixel front snapper, the JioPhone is armed with a 2,000mAh battery. ALSO READ: Reliance JioPhone is on a quest to dominate the rural telecom market in India
The Bharat 1 comes bundles with a Rs 97 BSNL unlimited plan, in which users get unlimited calling hours, unlimited 3G/4G data, free roaming and free SMS, with a one-month validity. Whereas, with the Rs 169 monthly refill, Airtel is offering unlimited voice calling and 500MB 4G/3G data daily. Jio, on the other hand, offers a plan priced at Rs 153, with unlimited voice calls, and unlimited high-speed internet (500MB per day), after which speed will be throttled to 128Kbps.